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  • New Posts

      • 2
      Demonstrations
      The association that I'm part of is looking to perform a demonstration at various local events next year, in a bid to build the associations image as well as recruit new members.
      If you have any demonstration experience I'd like to hear about what I should include in the line up, what makes good demonstration material?
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki If you want to attract new members, you need to make the demonstrations exciting. You can try scripted self-defense scenarios with multiple attackers (i.e. old lady attacked by muggers... who then kicks their butts), acrobatic breaking, "cute" kata - kata done by little kids, etc.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 2
      Will Karate be part of your Christmas & New Year's holiday season ?
      It seems that relaxation from karate is in order for some with family cheers. Others; will adventure into whatever serves there pleasure, ie, karate or not. Some look forward to karate tournaments and others could care less for anything. How do these holidays mix in with your karate world ?
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek Days off of work = more training days
        • 1
        Al W My club suspends training over the christmas period, and reconvienes when the schools go back.

        During this time I'll make use of the garden, or the park next to my house to practice kata. Or what's even handier is that my instructor lives 5 minutes from my house, so I'll bug him for some 1-2-1 training
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki [199522,PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS]

        Interesting... and timely question. I definitely have a bunch of martial arts presents that I am hoping to get from my loved ones. If I get them (versus the usual ugly green sweater) is another story! :)

        Will
      • 1
      Jade Jones (UK Taekwondo Champ) thinking of switching to MMA
      Looks like money is driving many martial artists to think about switching to mixed martial arts. Jade Jones (Olympic gold medalist for Taekwondo) is thinking about switching to MMA because "Taekwondo is an Olympic sport so it's hard to get sponsors and hard to make money". However, right now, it looks like she is aiming for another Olympic gold medal in 2020.

      For more, read this article - http://www.bbc.com/sport/taekwondo/38245627

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Ray In my experince roughly half who try actually have the stones to step into the cage regardless of MA background. Of that half only 2 in 10 ever do it again. Only 1 will be good enough or dumb enough to continue, depending on your opinion, to go pro. If you started 100 people. You now have 10 pros. Maybe 1 will be lucky enough to sighn with a major promoter like U.f.c or Bellator. Even then it's a long shot.
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Agree w/@ Will and @ James. First, my congratulations to the Olympic Champ. A great accomplishment and a testiment to hard dedication. I don't blame her for venturing off into the money making scene, but keeping the Taekwondo image in high respect is dear to me. As @ James challenges her actual fighting skills, that is to be forseen in the MMA arena, and should be a quite interesting transition from the Olympic scene in point contact sport vs. MMA fights. I will not make a prediction, but I do believe she will be quite tested at first, then she'll come on strong in future bouts fairing real good MMA coaching! She's challenging herself in the competition world to satisfy the urge of success and for revenue ! She's one to watch for the future !
        • 0 1 vote
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        • 1
        James Interesting but I wonder if she can actually fight? Possibly a controversial opinion and I'm not judging her as I don't know what she does away from Olympic Taekwondo but in my humble opinion ( as someone who has done neither olympic taekwondo nor mma ) if that is all she has done she is kidding herself if she thinks that is adequate preparation for mma and her ambition has little more credibility than if say a middle distance runner said they may take up mma in the future and hope she realises that there is a world of difference between the disciplines.
      • 1 more comment
      • 1
      What was the worst belt test that you have seen?
      Since there have been a bunch of belt test questions posted over the past week, I thought I would ask the following question - What was the worst belt test that you have seen?

      I am not talking about your worst belt test (but feel free to mention if you like). Rather, I am talking about the worst test by someone else. However, if you can, please put it in a context where readers can learn how to avoid making the same errors. Also please do not mention any names or schools - let's not embarrass anyone.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Wow, recall over 30 years have many counts of this experience. In catagory, I believe the worst belt tests have come from TRANSITIONS from other schools in not performing at the level of what a black belt should be at, that equivalents to poor or improper belt ranking and development in both kata and in kumite. Bag work and breaking techniques were usually acceptable. Kata mistakes were in robotic performances where the kata meaning was not clearly shown, and the lack of demonstrating soft & hard phases, lack of good transition moves, and soft snap blocks. Kumite were usually too slow and not enough techniques shown to impress any sensei, especially above the 1st dan levels. Conditioning were most often fairly acceptable, and automatic failures for lack of endurance and further participation occurred . I would note to avoid these mistakes one must be totally prepared mentally, be in condition, and seek out and practice the new organization's testing criteria prior taking the test to avoid confusion and failure. Note: immediate attention to commands in Japanese can also be a determining factor. Usually, there is no leniency for lack of knowledge or hesitations in responses to commands in Japanese. Higher black belt ranks are expected to be Japanese-minded through actions and commands as part of leadership skills shown to lower ranking grades. Exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis and determined by the testing sensei as a universal standard among Japanese dojo's. Know what the organization expects of your rank and perform !
        • 0 1 vote
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      • 1
      Scheduled vs suprise test.
      In response to all the other testing questions. Is my school the only one that tests by suprise? Is there an advantage other than possible cash flow, for having a scheduled test? Is havING family and frinds.there as important as a actually being able to perform? My school tests usually on the students worst day. Depending on how they perform is weather or not you pass. I personally test all the kids on the same day but with no warning. Some fail some pass. I always give a kid ceramony for the parents sake. A week or 2 later. Pros and cons of a problem arranged test? Pro for. Known pressure and how they perform. Con training hard on what you lack in neglecting all else.
      Pro against. Always performing at your best. Cons you don't get to share in your glory??? Your thoughts?
        • 1
        Al W I have a feeling if surprise tests made an appearance within the club a lot of people would fail, mostly kids
        • 1
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS I agree with suprise tests, however, there is no suprise to those who really are ready...perhaps I'm speaking of the adults and not the kids. Most dojo's have tests scheduled pending the progress of the class or multiple classes and at different ranks. As a sensei I make sure that each and every student or member is prepared. Sometimes I will perform a unannounced testing rehearsal so they have a feel for the environment and how the actual tests are sequenced and performed. Feedback is absoutely great, for it gives them the knowledge and real readiness. I would not do this unless I know they can perform all the testing criteria through our practices over time. Last testing cycle I had one 2nd dan for 3rd dan fail because he was thinking too much that it was a test. He usually is one of the most leading students in the class at a normal practice session. He retested with flying colors ! I always preach confidence, if you feel you can do it, you will ! and tests should not hinder your performance level ! What's the lesson here > proper prepardness includes the ability to test with confidence ! The value of a good sensei is to communicate and instruct where the student obtains confidence in his abilities.
        • 1
        Ray So maybe I should rename this suprise vs scheduled rank aquired?

        In short testing happens every day in my school. Once you are of required skill you are tested for promotion. It could take several classes to complete testing and by design you are not supposed to know if you are testing.
      • 2 more comments


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    Top Rated Posts

      • 8
      What movie inspired you to start your martial arts training?
      I was inspired by many movies (i.e. Bruce Lee, etc.). However, the ones that really stick in my mind are the Seven Samurai and some of the old dubbed Kung Fu movies (esp. the movies with Gordon Liu).

      As a kid, I always loved martial arts movies where it was good fighting evil and where hardwork & dedication overcame training difficulties.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 3
        Lil Sarnt It wasn't a movie that inspired me initially. My first inspiration was the old TV show "Kung Fu." I used to watch this as a child and then go outside and reenact the episodes. I was a strange little kid.
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Karate cowboy? Far off. Billy Jack was a Hapkido expert and of Navaho indian background! :)

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Barry Whisnant Billy Jack had to be my favorite and my first inspiration. I'm of Indian descent and btw, I have the box set.
      • 137 more comments
      • 7
      Should martial arts instructors know CPR & first aid?
      When you combine out-of-shape middle aged adults and vigorous martial arts training, you have the potential for medical emergencies.

      Do your instructors know CPR & first aid? Or should they only know how to call 911? Does your school train for medical emergencies (i.e. heart attack, broken bones, serious bleeding, etc.)?

      Related question - How has your school dealt with medical emergencies in the past?

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Mitt Radates Basic first aid (bandages, cold packs, R.I.C.E. and CPR) fine, but anything beyond that should mean a call to EMS. Any large school should invest in an A.E.D. as well.
        • 2
        Todd Mendenhall Yes, I think it is responsible and ethical for any Instructor to know basic first aid. They should know CPR, as well as, how to deal with Concussion and minor injuries. Martial Arts, can be dangerous if the proper control is not initiated, so understanding the difference between minor and major injury is imperative.
        • 2
        Beth Loomer Everyone should be trained to deal with these things. Who knows when it will happen your own home even.
      • 47 more comments
      • 7
      Martial Arts Humor & Jokes
      Thought it would be really great to get some martial arts jokes to tell in class to break the ice with my young and new students in autumn, if you know of any jokes or humourous anecdotes that can appeal in a class, but still not let it descend into anarchy, I'd love to hear them.
      Let my kick off:
      "How many karate instructors does it take to change a lightbulb?"

      "100! One to change the bulb and 99 to say it would not work on the street!"
        • 4
        Andy So this guy walks into a bar.... Ok you can let him go now
        [176815,Alex] :)
        • 3
        timothy I just reread some of the jokes and came to a concluson: You guys make terrible jokes!!!
        • 3
        Al W A Texas cowboy walks into a dojo thinking it’s a bar. Upon entering he says, “Well hell I thought this was a bar not a dance class.” This upsets the Sensei who approaches the cowboy and replies, “This is no dance class, this is martial arts dojo!” Then he politely bows to the cowboy. He then takes a stance and throws a sidekick, stopping 2” from the cowboy’s nose and says, “That was side kick from Tae Kwon Do. Then politely bows again. He then throws a lighting fast palm heal strike, again stopping 2” from the cowboy’s nose and says, “That was Tiger Palm from Chinese Boxing, “ and again politely bows. After which there is a loud “PRRINGGG!” The students stare in awe as their Sensei is out cold on the floor. Then the Texas cowboy says, Tell that guy when he wakes up… that was a crow bar from Home Depot.
      • 80 more comments
      • 6
      New Wiki Members - Please Say Hello
      New Wiki Members - Please use this section to say hello to the community.

      We know that some new members can be a little intimidated if they have to start right off the bat by adding anything to an existing martial arts topic. Therefore, this section was designed to break the ice by allowing new members to leave a quick and/or short "hello" message. It was also meant as a way to help new members to become comfortable with the community's posting & commenting system before they attempt to add anything to the other topics.

      We have turned this post into a permanent section on the top tool bar of the wiki community. Hopefully, it will be a place where new members can feel comfortable introducing themselves to the community (versus having to jump straight into a martial arts discussion or posting a hello randomly on a non-related martial arts topic).

      Quick Tips - You can reply to this message by typing in the comment box below, you can follow all of the recent replies/comments made on this site by using the "Comments" section on the top tool bar and you can use the "Post Something" button (found on the top right of the main sections) to post a new main topic (i.e. question or video).

      Saying hello also saves you from becoming a hidden "lurker" who does not take full advantage of this friendly martial arts community. Everyone here wants to help you improve or to learn from your experience. FYI - Most if not all of the top-rated posts are still open for comments & replies.

      If you are too shy to post, you can also vote a topic/comment up or down. Members enjoy it when their commentary is received well and they receive positive feedback (either in words or up votes).

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 3
        Maryse Duchaussoy Hello everyone, I newly started kyokushin and needed some writing info that your site so kindly provide. I doubt I will be posting a lot as I am a novice on the topic, but I am looking forward to reading what you all have to say.
        • 2
        John McConnell Hello all, my name is John McConnell, I am a second degree black belt with the AFTA (Australian Freestyle Tae Kwon-Do Academ) in Brisbane Australia. I first started training in 1984 through to 1992 attaining the rank of 1st grade after an 18 year break I returned in 2010, promoted to 1st degree in 2012 then promoted to 2nd degree in 2016. I train with my son Mathew (1st degree black belt),daughter Alissa (1st grade) and daughter Mia (4th grade). Looking forward to learning from the greater community.
        • 2
        Deryll Banning Hello to everyone. I am Deryll Banning. I'm an E Dan in Tang Soo Do (WTSDA), in Florence, Alabama, USA. I've just turned 70 and have a Sam Dan Test coming up before too long. The WTSDA requires a written paper for Dan rank promotions, so I'm looking for anybody or anything that will help me address the topic of martial arts training for older (50+) students. Thank you all.
      • 261 more comments
      • 6
      Tiger Balm & Andy
      In honor of Andy, I have just now added Tiger Balm to the community store :) - http://community.blackbeltwiki.com/store

      Of course, we are still waiting for Tiger Balm to make [171807,Andy] an official spokesperson!

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Andy [171668,Black Belt Wiki], just had a look at the Chuck 'facts' :),did you know that when Chuck Norris was born he slapped the midwife and made HER cry? :)
        • 2
        Rachel DS [171807,Andy] tiger balm fixed my sore arm....that was good.....commend from kids' vacation care teacher when I dropped them off (freshly balmed for the day) - "you smell really good"......priceless.....So not only is it good for healing all ills it is apparently a good substitute for body spray / aftershave / perfume (insert name of favourite smelly product).....lol
        • 2
        Rachel DS I think the first time I came across TB was in thailand. They put it on everything.....I am allergic to bee stings (ie difficulty breathing and lots of swelling etc) and we were on tour when a bee flew into our song tau and stung me on the arm - the tour leader put some on the sting and I got an icepack at the next town but we were miles from doctors / hospitals....between the tiger balm, a compression sock and some ventolin and antihistamines I managed to stay out of hospital!

        Incidentally [171807,Andy] the placebo effect is bone fide. I will have to find the study I just read on it. (This was applicable to reiki etc I think as opposed to TB but it would flow on to anything).

        I am going to put some TB on my arm in a tic (currently on ice) - practising bunkai with a partner tonight who got a little over zealous when I told him to do it harder......hopefully better by Sunday as that is the tourney.....:S I have 2 more training sessions and some work with my real bunkai partner to go before then too.
      • 17 more comments
      • 6
      A Karate Guy Never Gives Up
      An off shoot of Any inquiring about dropping out and having the natural spirit for martial arts. My nephew recently started taking classes (he is 4 years old) i was play sparing with him after class and gave up to fighting him and he told me "A karate guy never gives up" , it was adorable.

      Its all about spirit, he will most likely make this an important part of his life, im eager to see him grow in it.
        • 3
        Andy Here's another story about not giving up, 16 years ago i got my lower right leg crushed between 2 forklift trucks in an accident at work. The doctors said I would be lucky to walk properly again and to forget martial arts. I ended up with titanium screws in both sides of my ankle and a titanium plate grafted to the lower part of my right fibula, I was on crutches for the best part of a year. I still carried on practicing as well as I could and when I was undergoing physio therapy during my recovery the physio therapist informed me that I still had a better degree of pantoflection (whatever that means lol) than most other people and asked me if I practiced Ballet!!!! Look at my profile pic can you picture me in a tutu (don't answer that lol). Anyway I made a full recovery, have full mobility and can still perform full force kicks with my right leg (even though the doctors have advised me not to lol).
        • 2
        Andy Thanks for that Rachel that explains why I haven't been able to find any reference to what my physio therapist was talking about lol, oh and I think I'll stick to cross training as opposed to cross dressing. :)
        • 2
        Andy Chris that is great! :)
      • 10 more comments
      • 5
      Are martial arts movies good or bad for martial arts?
      Did you get sucked into martial arts after you had seen Bruce Lee fight his way upstairs the pagoda in “Game of Death”? Good, and you are certainly not the only one! But are martial arts movies actually good or bad for martial arts? Martial arts movies have undoubtedly been pivotal in popularizing once obscure, only regionally known self-defense systems. However, what is shown of these arts on the screen are (for the most part) flashy, heavily choreographed fighting scenes that bear little resemblance to the kind of real life combat that these systems were originally developed for (Bruce Lee himself once mentioned that that for his movies he preferred flashier over less flashy but more effective techniques). So, have martial arts movies shaped the way martial arts are perceived and through this corrupted them?
        • 3
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS GOOD for martial arts!, I believe karate movies plays as a good marketing tool for interest and recruitment for those who have the desire to join a real karate class. Movies do motivate and create excitement, as most people realize that karate moves are rehearsed and is part of the fantasy world. Moreover, the moves had to be practiced by real karate individualists to make it into entertainment, so quality karate movements are recognized by those individualists. Even as a student of the arts; old karate movies provide a theme for entertainment and even a cultural lesson from the ancient times, and to some other karate-ka, it provides the technical expertise and meaning of techniques, that educates the practioner and practicing karate judges in identifying point contacts in there fight scenes. I do agree on the other hand, that karate movies can be sinuous, and they do shape the martial arts to a false-hood in real life. Today, the opinions of Internet karate junkies have no basis of professional karate degrees and experiences, that only confuse the young practicing karate-ka as they strive towards their karate journey. The only good measurement of this practice comes from the real experienced karate-ka to realize that, comparison of karate styles is controversal and has no relevance to one's karate development. In that, real life karate is a serious dedicated development, while movies are what they are, just movies for entertainment which causes karate enthusiasm!
        • 2
        Ray I am still asked when the spinning back jump flip kick with ninja stars and smoke will be taught.

        The other day I was closing down the gym when I was seriously asked. " how long till I can be like the guy from enter the badlands?" This was asked by an adult.

        I was once asked if I could get the instructor to skip all the "fluff training" and move on to the real ninja stuff.

        Calling the movies the gate way drug is puting it mildly
        • 2
        Al W Martial Arts in movies and tv shows could be considered the "Gateway Drug" for kids. They see famous MA practitioners perform flash moves and think "Wow I want to do that".

        As [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] said, without movies the MA community would be very small.
        On the plus side there would be less McDojos
      • 10 more comments
      • 5
      How to be better fighter than a UFC or MMA fighter?
      Was training in a park recently with more experienced friend

      A passerby walked up and said that we looked good but asked if it could beat an MMA fighter. Before i could say anything my friend spoke up.

      "Absolutely....UFC has 31 rules - i have none. I would break every rule there is and probably a few they didnt even think to make."

      It was a great response!
        • 2
        Bobby McFarlane HAHA. As the "arrogant" guy who is being quoted in the original post (thanks for the undo praise Chris) I feel I should throw in my two cents. Because it is easy and even understandable to make assumptions about me and my philosophy when everyone fills in the blanks around one phrase I spoke. Everyone here is making good points. The question asked was in the context of, is it possible for you, a more traditional martial artist, to beat a professional. This is usually and in this case asked in a out of the ring self defense context. Not "can you personally beat any given MMA fighter I put in front of you right now?" And not "Will you beat an MMA fighter?" It would be bold to assume I could beat any given person without some information on the scenario. and even then "shit happens" is a real possibility... I could lose to a ten year old girl with a well placed even accidental strike. Likely? no. But possible. ... Let me deconstruct the biggest points here to explain my answer a bit more.

        "There is no saying an MMA fighter wont fight dirty."
        Totally true but not substantial. I train in a traditional combative art that looks for dirty fighting and aims to defend dirty fighting as well as use it. Fool proof? No... but the reason I say I will break their rules first, is because they usually don't train to defend those things because it would be a waste of training time for them. If you end up in a fight with a Pro boxer I would expect you would not go toe to toe with boxing techniques... kick him in the shin, the groin, wrap him up and grapple with him and he is going to have a lot more trouble with you. Many MMA techniques are built to be somewhat air tight... IF certain rules protect them. This is not exclusive to MMA its true in every martial art mine included. Techniques outside our wheelhouse are dangerous. An MMA rear naked choke is devastating and I challenge you to tell me how you would get out of it in the ring. Put an MMA fighter in a rear naked, cinch it in nice and tight and correctly and ask him to get out for the sake of his life before he passes out... and watch him struggle to get his chin down push your arm up wiggle etc... it wont work. Drive a thumb deep through his eye ball (yes this takes practice but yes I have practice), he will go. Sand in the eyes, clawing, kicking while they are down, weapons... Pro fighters don't usually train these things. Does that make me a better fighter? Heck No. MMA fighters are amazing fighters and athletes. Is it POSSIBLE to beat them in a fight? yep, start by breaking their rules and being a trained fighter yourself. True of any martial art or sport art.

        Comparing Martial arts as better or worse is foolish in most cases. You can train MMA 6 days a week and never fully pressure test your skills and end up a less effective fighter. You can ALSO train at a McDojo two nights a week and go home and work your butt off to understand the art, pressure test your skills in a safe environment, study the details, work through drills and become an excellent fighter out of a McDojo. VERY few fights ever really come down to my art is better than yours, that's the stuff of movies and video games. A real fight is too complex to fully calculate... it is one person vs another in one situation vs another with whatever level of awareness and readiness they have going for them THAT DAY. We train with the goal of our worst day being better than our opponents best day but that is not always the cards we are dealt. In any fight you should avoid the fight first because you likely have NO IDEA how it will go... if you end up in a fight you do your best with what you have but you better believe the more good training you have, the more likely it will be POSSIBLE to overcome your opponent whether they are an MMA fighter or an untrained child. Never underestimate your opponent...

        Side note... Yeah I know its the internet but don't ASSUME that everyone who says anything that you disagree with out of context is untrained, inexperienced, arrogant, or even being fully understood. They probably aren't... but maybe they are :P
        • 2
        Al W UFC/MMA shouldn't be the standard to which all MA are judged against.
        • 2
        James I agree broadly with both. One of the problems is that many of the techniques that are outide the rulebook either are very very difficult to land on a trained fighter or simply arent as effective as we'd like to believe.for example trying to get s thumb in the eye of a trained fighter is easier said than done and even if you get there as unpleasant as it may be its not a fight ender on its own. Strikes to the groin can take several seconds for the pain to register and can be fought through. The reality is that most of the fight ending knock out stuff is trained in by UFC guys every day and as [171807,Andy] says the key is to be as strong, fast and conditioned as they are as well as having a variety of interesting techniques to give you an exrra advantage.
      • 26 more comments
      • 5
      Is boxing a martial art?
      Is boxing considered to be a martial art by traditional martial artists?
      • 5
      Happy Birthday Blackbelt Wiki Community!
      Yes we are now officially 1 year old! First of all a big thank you to @Will - Black
      Belt Wiki for creating this community out of the ashes of the old black belt wiki message boards! I personally believe that this community is the best place currently available on the Internet for fellow martial artists to meet, discuss MA topics and interact in a safe and no
      BS environment. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate ALL fellow members for their contributions and for making my job as a community moderator so easy! Looking back over the past year it is perhaps ironic that I (as a moderator) have probably been the worst behaved on here (except for
      [172080,Rachel DS] who should be ashamed of herself for being such a bad influence and leading me astray on so many occasions)! :)
      My only wish is that more of our 300+ members would get involved and post something (anything!!! Lol). May our community continue to go from strength to strength (quick pass the barf bag!) and continue for many more years to come!
      I would also like to say a big 'screw you!' to all of the spam merchants that either I (but much more so Will) have had to delete and ban over this last year! Osu :)
        • 2
        Keston Destiny I want to thank Black Belt Wiki for allowing someone like me with no knowledge of karate into your lives. My daughters have been so prosperous on their journey through karate and it's been an enjoyment to be alongside them. I'm proud to say that after 14 trophies, 5 medals, and 5 tournaments my girls will be advancing to yellow belt on June 9th. So I'm very happy for this community and pardon my lack of activity, I do care.
        • 2
        Christopher Adamchek Wow, one year already
        • 1
        Rachel DS It has been a pleasure leading you astray [171807,Andy] and I mean that in the most innocent way possible. It is important to have a sense of humour at least proportional to one's sense of passion. I have certainly got a lot out of being involved in this online community and hope it kicks on despite the occasional knock out joke from any of us. 😂 O tonjobi emedeto gosaimashita and domo arigato gosaimashita to [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki] for creating the community!
      • 13 more comments
      • 5
      Member's Showcase
      I see videos on here of people at competitions, and various other forms of media. Wouldn't it be nice if we could see each other perform our respective styles/arts? So I'm creating this post just for that, no videos of Chuck Norris roundhousing squirrels or any other videos of non -members.

      Criticism is always welcome but keep it clean and no bullying. Remember we're all different with different levels of skills and athletic ability
        • 2
        Al W Me performing Heian Nidan at the 2016 AMA Southern Open in Maidstone Kent


        https://youtube.com/watch?v=HXJff2lIX8o

        This was my first competition and I was nervous as hell
        • 1
        (deleted) https://www.facebook.com/andrea.harkins.75/videos/10208985918598175/?l=4067436148721413594

        This is just working out in the back yard!
        • 1
        (deleted) https://youtu.be/Xl-1NPOsuL8 This was just some fun breaking practice. Most of my videos are motivational talks lol!
      • 72 more comments
      • 5
      Luca Valdesi - Unsu kata
      Demonstration of Unsu Kata
        • 1
        John Luttrell As part of our club's 15th anniversary we had a course on Unsu with Sensei Hazard and Sensei Trimbel it was excellent and we all learned a great deal. If you get a chance to train with either of these gentlemen you will learn a lot.
        • 1
        Al W Can anyone help me develop the jump in this kata? I need to learn to perform the Sempu Tobi Geri on both legs for reasons that will remain classified at present
        • 1
        Al W If I could be half as good as him then I would count myself lucky
      • 4 more comments
      • 5
      Trials & tribulations of running a martial arts school
      What are the major problems of running a martial arts school? Does it involve finding students, accidents, training monotony, weekend schedules, non payers, legal issues, etc.?

      Since we have a number of martial arts school instructors and/or owners in this community (such as [171786,Christopher Adamchek] , [174082,Andrea Harkins The Martial Arts Woman]" , [186241,Nathalie] , [181642,Ced] , [175467,Kenneth Winthrop] , [178814,Patrick Lee] and many others), I thought they might share their "trials & tribulations" in order to educate others.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Nathalie Hello everyone,

        My boyfriend and I operate a kyokushin karate school and I am training 2 teens to become junior black belts and 1 girl who is going for her first dan at the age of 24. This young lady has been avid at our school since 2011. Listening, being present, showing up, training, etc...Now, she trains 5-6 days per week to prep for the big test. I love her determination and she is very sweet.

        The thing is that she is very soft in her movements as in katas, she speaks very low, when she is quizzed, if we can't read lips, we don't get what her answer is and she has never kiai'd in the 5 years that she's been with us. She is very shy and does not socialize with anyone. Not that she has to but there is never a conversation unless someone else engages her, she just picks up her stuff after class and she is gone in a flash.

        I can kind of relate to her because growing up and as a young adult, I was morbidly shy but I made myself get over it and though I get fleeting thoughts of self-doubt sometimes, I don't let those get in my way. I even remember being shy to kiai in class and thinking, after a few years of hearing others just let it all out, that I better get over that one before I get noticed as the one who is scared to kiai so I just do it from the gut, especially since my brown belt level training for my bb test.

        I have explained the meaning of the kiai to the group (oh, and they do it but they hold back so much) (thank you Jesse, btw, for your great articles, I love referring to them) the importance of putting power into their katas plus how important the breathing is as in Sanchin kata . She will nod, agree and just continue to do what she usually does, soft punches and mouth shut, not a sound of breath nor kiai.

        One of my previous instructors who is strict suggested that during the kata part of the test, we should make them all redo the katas over and over until done perfectly (as in our usual way of testing) but make sure all the kiais are heard clearly otherwise this segment won't end.

        My first question is: Is it not a must at this level? and How do I make her feel secure enough to express herself? (believe it or not she has a masters degree in communications).

        Thank you for your attention

        Nathalie
        • 1
        Ray Late to the party but.....

        I do not own or run my school. Nor do I have a real say in anything.

        I do have the largest class. My own account for gear with kwon u.s.a. I get everyone set up for tournaments open up most days, and sub for some of the other instructors on a regular basis.

        My biggest obstacle is not owning my own gym.
        • 1
        Ced I am confident that between the various opinions you will find what works best for you. Good luck wish you much success.
      • 27 more comments
      • 5
      Have you ever encountered a fake black belt?
      Have you ever encountered a fake black belt? While kids have been known to "exaggerate"... have you encountered any adults who have lied about their martial arts experience?

      I am asking because of a video that is going viral that shows a BJJ instructor going off on a fake black belt - http://www.inquisitr.com/2235940/miami-martial-arts-instructor-ruben-alvarez-outed-fake-black-belt-berates-him-to-wear-white-belt-if-he-wants-to-return/

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 3
        Christopher Adamchek I havent encountered a "fake" black belt
        but i have encountered "black belts" who are definitely not up to par and the result of their school wanting money so they push the student through the ranks to collect promotional fees
        • 2
        PAUL (paldo) REYNOLDS Konnichiwa ! This blog has now lost its composure and smells of burn't french fries. Time for a refund and a new batch .
        • 2
        Al W "In Okinawa belt mean no need rope to hold up pants"
      • 213 more comments
      • 5
      Walls can be used as a martial arts weapon
      Many martial art styles and techniques take advantage of the floor as a weapon but a good solid wall can be just as good a friend to the martial artist in self defence and actual combat situations. Most walls are as solid and unforgiving as the floor and can be used to great effect in the martial arts. An opponent/attacker can be pushed with great force (by using a double open palm thrust to the chest, a technique that anyone familiar with sanchin should be already be versed in), you can catch an oncoming punch or strike and then spin to throw your attacker into a wall, also the effect of most high range kicks or punches can be doubled if you can position yourself so that the attackers head or back will connect with the wall on execution. You can practice some of the pushing or throwing techniques with a partner by placing several mats against a wall but I would only recommend using kicks or punches in conjunction with walls as a means of actual self defence.
        • 3
        Superamazingbadgerman Yea, for a complete system, you really do need to understand walls.

        They're a very common surface to have around only a dazed and confused fool wouldn't use, not to mention the fact that if you're in a confined space and someone does something that (hopefully) they'll regret, you're probably gonna get thrown into one (whether anyone intends it to happen or not).

        Obviously, your first resort (or second. or third...) should never be to back into one yourself (unless you'd be completely overwhelmed if you don't), but you need to be able to work with your back to the wall (after having been violently shoved into it by multiple RIPPED attackers) anyway. If a mugger or assassin or extortionist or whoever catches you by surprise (and if they're any good at it, they will), they would (or at least I would) likely slam you against a nearby wall and start threatening you with a knife or a gun or their bare hands or whatever they might have (not that I would do anything like that to you guys). You need answers for that just as effective as your answers for one on one unarmed combat.

        It's also nice to know how to work with one yourself since it's a neutral surface (like the ground) that takes a lot less effort to put someone into. You can more easily submit your attacker to the wall than you can to the ground (though it's less effective and certainly less disorienting), so you should study how you would do that from several positions before you need to do it for real.
        • 3
        Andy [171668,Black Belt Wiki] that is a great point Will, and many self defence principles advocate NOT getting backed up against a wall. Another good one if you ever do find yourself pinned against a wall by an attacker is to slide down the wall to create a little space between yourself and your attacker, bring up your knee, place your foot against your attackers hip and then perform a thrust using the wall for extra leverage.
        • 3
        Andy [172304,Llewena Carrero], some Jujutsu/BJJ techniques can be modified to work vertically but the laws of gravity apply so many cant, it is still a good extra set of skills to add to your overall martial arts catalogue though :)
      • 24 more comments
      • 5
      Teaching combinations
      Hi. I really enjoyed the section on teaching kids. Does anyone have ideas about how to teach 40 combinations, like we have in Shukokai? It is hard for the kids to remember them, and not easy to teach. Open to any ideas!
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Whoops think I misunderstood. Just looked up Shukokai combinations - these are short kihon.

        Definitely make it into a game. Try breaking the kids into teams and make them compete against each other in doing the combinations correctly.

        Make it fun - throw out the combinations in a different order and if they get it right, you do push-ups! :)

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Christopher Adamchek incrementally is good focusing on a section but also show them the whole thing each time so they know what it is and dont think that you are treating them like they are little

        simplified bunkai , showing the kids how it works and have them act it out with others

        teach them kata concepts like turning direction and blocking hand that way youre not just correcting them each time or telling them to switch hands but you can help them figure it out by asking them which way they turned

        with kids sometimes its better to let them get the pattern of the whole thing then go back and almost reteach it with added details
        • 2
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi Fiona

        How do you teach it now? You probably already do this but do you break each kata into "chunks"? For example, do they learn the first 25% of the kata during week one (and get a tape)... and practice the first 50% in week 2, practice first 75% in week 3 and finally the whole kata in week 4?

        Do you teach Shito-Ryu katas or does Shukokai have separate katas?

        What is needed for each kid at different belt level? How many must they know for their black belt?

        Sorry for the thousand questions. :) Just trying to get some more info so people can help you.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 8 more comments
      • 5
      What is "hard" and "soft" karate styles?
      What does it mean when you see a karate style labeled as "hard" or "soft"? Does hard mean you chew on iron nails for breakfast and soft is tai chi-like? :)

      Seriously, wikipedia labels some karate styles harder than others - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_karate_styles

      Also according to the opinion of karate students (and not wikipedia) - what is the hardest karate style? And what is the softest karate style?

      Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
        • 2
        Bryce Hard and soft styles, in my own personal experience, tend to be all about how one approaches blocking. In hard styles (in karate, at least) such as Shotokan, you see blocks which have a lot of power, and the point of these blocks is often not only to avoid injury yourself, but to injure the opponent as well with the power of the block. In order to put up with the impact created by such powerful blocks, practitioners of hard styles will often take part in exercises to toughen up their bodies (see Kyokushin karate).

        Soft styles, on the other hand, tend to focus on staying relaxed during a fight and tend to redirect or avoid their opponent's energy as opposed to directly clashing with it. This means that the blocks themselves only use enough energy to avoid injury, in theory allowing the soft-style practitioner to retain their energy for later in the fight (with enough endurance training and body control their is obviously no difference in endurance levels between practitioners of different styles; this is just the theory). Wado-Ryu karate is one example of a soft style; the style blends the relaxed, circular movements of Japanese jiujutsu with the hard, direct strikes of Japanese karate in a style of movement called Taisabaki (or body shifting). In this, the practitioner shifts away from the opponents strikes using their core, employing their blocking hand merely as a safety measure to ensure that the punch or kick does not redirect (in theory, one could perform this part of taisabaki without moving their arms at all). This places the practitioner away from the opponent's strike, but closer to the opponent themselves, allowing the practitioner to move their shifted body weight into the opponent with their counterattack.

        One of the other black belts once asked my sensei which was better, and in response he said "punch is punch; kick is kick." In other words, both types of martial art can be deadly. It depends on yourself and your teacher, not the style itself.

        (Note: Sorry that the soft style explanation is larger; I am a practitioner of Wado-Ryu, and I have more experience with it than I do the hard styles. I felt I should only explain as far as I understood).
        • 2
        SenseiMG For those who wonder why Kyokushin is considered the hardest karate I will give you some answer. Foundator of kyokushin or a main figure like Shigeru Oyama thought that there was no practice without sweat. Also, combat practice was their priority. Courses included training with pads but many movements are done directly on a partner. Talking about the first Kyokushin school in Tokyo, Shigeru Oyama said: « Face punches were allowed at this time. I was surprised to find that everyone had their hands wrapped in towels. Teeth will cut your hands. So everyone had their hands wrapped in towels.» Also, at that time, the hyakunin kumite (fighting against 100 man consecutively) has to be done to become a teacher of this discipline. Today, kyokushin become "softer(!)" in order to keep more students in their rank, but many traditions remains in the actual pratice and in the virtues of kyokushin. There is no more face punches but kick to the head is allowed, hyakunin kumite still exists as the ultimate challenge for those who wish to accomplish it and black belt exams include tameshiwari (breaking techniques) and many kumite (usually between 15 to 20 combats against different opponents for a shodan) in addition to kihons and katas.
        • 2
        Andy In practically all martial art (certainly of the oriental variety) hard and soft are both parts of the whole and one cannot be practiced without the other, Kata is considered a 'soft' technique (though it does incorporate many hard elements) because it involves visualisation, timing, accuracy (all soft/internal elements that should also be applied to sparring and other hard external elements). The thing is that it is generally a misconception (perpetuated by the Ashida Kim's of the martial arts world) that there are specific hard and soft styles. Take Tai Chi, it is often taught and practised by old ladies in village halls as a healthy exercise, there is however a real combat (hard) application of genuine Tai Chi and in it's hard element it is a devastating martial art. In Karate,Kata should also be practised under dynamic/isometric tension to strengthen the internal and external parts of the body which is another reason why Kata are included in the soft aspect of training.
      • 51 more comments
      • 5
      Where are all the karate women?
      I would like to connect with other women in MA. I train in traditional Japanese / Okinawan karate and am very often the only XX in class. I would like to connect with other like minded women who think it isn't crazy to train in MA.
        • 3
        Carman Cole I believe as a woman the key to getting us in karate is our families. Finding ways to connect with our children and spend time with them. Showing our family how to be loyal, patient, and respect esp.with my two boys, is so important. Families that practice together stay together. 😄
        • 2
        (deleted) p.s. personally, I would love to see more woman participate in karate and martial arts regardless of the distinctions I mention - the more folks the merrier I say.
        • 2
        Dr. Elizabeth Mattke Howdy! I'm kinda new here...kinda not, but I'm a martial arts woman whom will be testing next week for my orange belt in Okinawan Kempo Karate looking forward to it. I have my 1stances degree black belt in Krav Maga. Blessings.
        • 0 2 votes
        • Reply
      • 125 more comments
      • 4
      New School Blues
      So as it stands I am currently running a class on a Thursday night, on my instructors advice, but at present all I have is at most 5/6 students.

      It's two classes back-to-back and only 2/3 students do both lessons. I've advertised on Social Media, and leaflet drop in the local area for more students, but at present I am struggling to keep the focus of what students I do have, who also train at our main club on other days of the week.

      Any help?
        • 2
        Andy @Al W, you need to be creative with the name/description of your class, you need to advertise something that will get people's attention, I don't know, maybe something like Big AL's MMA KRAV-BJJ Martial Arts and fitness accademy. Join NOW and receive a 10% discount towards my 'Realistic Chain Saw defence' seminar this coming December, dont forget, Free entry on Thursday to ALL female students (provided they are between the ages of 20
        -40 and pass the 'Fitness' test (if the bouncers think your fit they'll let you in) :)
        • 1
        Jean We're about to embark on this path within the next year. I interested to see the ideas that will come out in this thread.
        • 1
        Ray Try being a karate school at an mma gym. We have a all included program. Many pay for it. Only 6 kids participate in the karate program full time. Of course we get dozens to filter thru. I have 12 at my sparring class. Of course waivers are signed.

        After we swept a local sparring tournament last year my karate class grew to almost 20..... and now I am back to the original 4 plus 2.
      • 9 more comments
      • 4
      Taekwondo KO's in MMA
      Taekwondo In Action


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